A black and white photograph of a crowded train powered by oxen and Army mules dating back to 1907. Even before reading the caption, you know it’s a moment from the era when trains were driven by animals in the early 20th century
The picture of the oldest trains -- known as ‘Patiala Monorail’ plying on SirhandMorinda sector -- caught everyone’s eye at an exhibition of rare photographs of the Indian Railways that opened for the public at the Qaiserbagh-based Lalit Kala Akademi on Wednesday.
Many such historic photographs, like the one showcasing how elephants were used for pushing odd wagons in goods sheds, on display during the expo marking the 160 years of Indian Railways, captured the very essence of Railways and its intimate relationship with life and travel in India.
“It is a good opportunity for visitors to learn more about Indian Railways and its development over the years. These photographs present life in those days and I have enjoyed it and hope visitors will like it,” said KK Atal, general manager, after inaugurating the expo here. The exhibition, entry for which is free, is open till 2 pm on September 16.
From a picture of a passenger train carrying flood victims to their respective destinations to the ones showing late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru inspecting a locomotive and Mahatma Gandhi alighting from a third-class wooden compartment, the exhibition takes one through the glorious past of the Indian Railways.
The event, ‘160 years of Indian Railways’ is a showcase of 190 rare photographs of the public carrier, including bridges, loco maintenance, old passenger coach carriages, wagons, stations etc.
Divided in four different segments, the exhibition enables visitors to be acquainted with role of railways in the freedom struggle and its contribution in nation building.
“It is an attempt to cull out the interesting moments of the developmental journey, concentrating primarily on the first 100 years of its inception,” said Anoop Kumar, divisional railway manager, NER, Lucknow.
Another interesting section of the exhibition is the railway bridges and tunnels where few of the most exemplary works of engineering are on display.
A very old picture of the Charbagh railway station, almost deserted, suggests how the state capital’s railway stations and trains have moved on.
The exhibition also throws light on the glorious past of NER through eye-catching photographs.